- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 18, 2012

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Sunday accused President Obama of mishandling U.S. military operations in the Middle East.

“What’s happening right now is an example of failed leadership,” he told “Fox News Sunday.”

Mr. Romney, the GOP front-runner and a former Massachusetts governor, attacked the president for poor military decisions in Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq.

He said the president has failed to communicate well with American military leaders in Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan leadership.

Mr. Obama has a “detachment from our military leaders there,” Mr. Romney said, suggesting Mr. Obama should speak with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on a daily basis. “The president needs to be more engaged and interacting with not only our leaders there, but all those in Afghanistan.”

“Ultimately, the independence and the security of Afghanistan is going to have to be sustained by the Afghans,” Mr. Romney said. “We’re not going to stay there forever.”

Mr. Romney compared the president’s leadership in Afghanistan to another Middle Eastern country.

“He, likewise, failed in the way we left Iraq,” Mr. Romney said.

Mr. Romney also challenged the president to refocus on preventing Iran from using nuclear weapons.

“He should be less worried about Israel taking action to stop Iran from having nuclear weapons, and more worried about whether Iran actually has a nuclear weapon,” Mr. Romney said.

“There is nothing casual about Iran having a nuclear weapon,” he added. “The president needs to recognize this is a very serious threat to us and the rest of the world.”